How can I get more done with less? Project management broken down
If you’re in business, you understand the importance of punctuality and deadlines. The time in which tasks are completed is important, and is the glue that keeps everything held together.
Think of project management as a foundation. If the foundation has a crack in it, the whole operation is at risk of failure.
If you’re looking to maximize employee productivity, reach deadlines without pressure, and get the job done right, you’re in the right place.
We’ll be taking a deep look into project management, and show you how to effectively monitor and increase productivity through essential key performance indicators (KPIs).
In this brief review we’ll be taking a look at:
- Risk management
- The length of time it takes
- The ROI and cost
- The quality of the project
- A brief overview of various important KPIs
So without wasting anymore of your precious time, let’s dive right in, and take a look at the essential performance indicators you need to be paying more attention to.
What are the most important KPIs?
Before we dive into the meat and potatoes, it’s essential that you understand the four categories KPIs fall into. There are many KPIs that fall under each category, and based on the nature of your project, they can be different. So we’ll be giving you a brief outlook on what exactly the main KPIs for project management are, and follow that up with the 5 most important ones to consider to increase efficiency to better reach projected deadlines.
What are the four categories?
The four categories of KPIs fall under:
Budget based KPIs
Budget based KPIs will show you how well your project is going according to various factors. A quick look at some budget based KPIs to look at are:
- Budget establishment: Creating the budget for your project
- Budget variation: Focuses on how much money you have upfront, and how much you will need for the timeline of the project
- The amount of items: Focuses greatly on the exact cost of singular items being used in the project
- How often the budget changes: This indicator takes a look at how often the budget changes
- Return on investment: Will show you how profitable the entire project was
Quality based KPIs
Quality based KPIs take into account the satisfaction based on customers, as well as turnover within staff members. The key quality KPIs to look at are:
- Customer satisfaction: This is essentially a way to measure how happy the consumer is with the result of your project
- NPS: It stands for Net Promoter Score, and comes down to a one question survey that shows you how popular the brand is
- The amount of complaints: This is pretty self explanatory, and takes into account the amount of complaints received by consumers
- Errors: This KPI looks at how often tasks fail and need to be redone
- Turnover: Turnover is definitely an underrated KPI, but it’s definitely important to understand how staff leaving a project can influence the outcome
Effectiveness KPIs will allow you, the project manager, to evaluate how effective or productive a project is. This is essential, because it can influence other KPIs as well. Some important effectiveness KPIs to look at are:
- Number of returned parts: Will show you how well your project is doing in regard to the equipment used
- Goal setting: Will help evaluate productivity as goals or tasks are completed
- Training: Show you how well your training program is, and how many budgeted hours are dedicated to it
- Profit through hours: Show you how much revenue you can pull in from a project when billed to a client
- Productivity: Will show you how well a project is doing based on some other KPIs mentioned
Timeliness KPIs, as the name suggests, will show you how well the project is doing in regard to the timetable or deadline. This is crucial to understand, because it can help you properly monitor budgeted hours. Some important timeliness KPIs to look at are.
- Time spent: Shows you how long the project takes to complete
- Percentage: Will show you how well tasks are being completed in regard to deadlines
- Time spent versus time planned: Will show you how well the project is doing based on the current timeline planned
- Resources: Will show you how many resources you have, and have left, when it comes to your project
These KPIs are all essential to understand, and can provide you with valuable insight as a project manager. While there are tons of KPIs to look at, some are definitely more effective than others. A project manager needs to make proper use of their time as well, so narrowing down what you monitor can help increase the overall efficiency of a project.
This is obviously the first KPI you’ll want to take a look at, because it will show you how the entire project is going. This KPI falls under the effectiveness category, and will show you how well a project is going. Not only is this paired with effectiveness, but it will also show you how well the timeline is doing. When it comes to productivity, it will tell you the most about how your project is doing. This is definitely a KPI you should be monitoring, and monitoring closely.
If you’re looking to enhance your productivity, there are a few ways to do that. Aside from providing staff with incentive, if it’s allocated in the budget, staff should be eligible for valuable company recognition. Recognition could increase staff happiness, and lead to better performance in almost every KPI area aside from the budget.
ROI and cost
While productivity is one of the most important KPIs to monitor, you’ll also need to analyze the cost. If the profits are not where they should be, or if the ROI is not high enough, the project is technically not sustainable. The first thing to understand about cost is the budget, and what you’ll be allocating. When it comes to the budget, you’ll also need to be aware of the fact that you’ll need to allocate the proper paid hours. Budget, hours, and profit work together to produce either a positive or negative ROI.
The reason it’s important to monitor ROI, is due to the fact that you’ll be able to see how worth it a particular project is. If the project is losing money, you’ll know, and be able to determine whether or not it’s a good idea to stick with it or not. Monitoring the ROI KPI is essential, because it can help you make better use or your budget, profit, and hours. Maximizing this indicator will maximize your profit margins.
The quality of the work is another important KPI to look at. If deadlines are met, and the job is done efficiently, there should be no issue in quality. Unfortunately, when it comes to quality, if the quality of a project is not where it should be it will cause problems.
Ask yourself how many times you read a review of a poor product and decided against it. At the end of the day, a product lacking in quality can end up ruining the end goal.
Not only will this deter future products, but it can take an entire new project just to repair the damage done by the previous one. This is exactly why it’s crucial to make sure the quality KPI is performing at least up to par.
Making sure the staff members you have assigned to a project are working towards a common goal is absolutely crucial. This KPI is one of the most important, because it can influence other KPIs such as:
If you have goals designed to reach deadlines effectively, the whole project will go much better. Not only will goal setting help bring your staff together, but it will also influence the outcome of the project. It can lead to better quality, better time management, and a better end result.
Before a project begins, it’s the best practice to make sure your staff is informed and motivated by a goal. Think about it… if they don’t know the goal how will they work towards? It’s not just your role, as project manager, to make all of the decisions. Allowing staff to provide insight can be beneficial to the entire operation.
The scope of the project is an underrated KPI. This is due to the fact that not everyone is exactly sure of what a scope necessarily is during a project. Making sure that your staff understands and executes the project according to the scope is crucial to the whole project.
This can help increase effectiveness, and make better use of the timeline. The scope of a project is necessary to ensure everyone understands what they’re doing in the long run. While this is great for efficiency, it can also help goals make more sense to the staff involved in the project.
Project management might seem like a bit of a hassle, but when push comes to shove, as long as you look into the right indicators you can monitor the productivity.
Blind project management will get you nowhere, but if you monitor the indicators we discussed, you’ll be able to get the performance you’re looking for. It all comes down to the KPIs.
Key performance indicators are necessary to look at, not only for productivity, but having your staff work efficiently towards a deadline can result in a much better result quality wise. While it might seem like you can just sit back and monitor performance, if you lead your team with a goal in mind, you’ll notice an increase in every aspect.
When it comes to project management, you want to make sure your monitoring the right KPIs. Not only will this ensure success, but if there is a weak link in the chain, you’ll be able to discover it.